Friday, June 30, 2006

52, week 8 (kinda)

Since my 52 reviews basically amount to a long-term Great Ten watch, this past week's issue of 52 again left me with blue balls. But this week marks another landmark moment in the history of Asian Americans in comics; on Wednesday, DC released Brave New World, in which six new titles published prologue mini-issues in one humonguous issue. That, in and of itself, isn't too special, but Brave New World marked the first appearance of the All-New (Korean American) Atom, aka Ryan Choi. Unfortunately, there was something amiss about the new Atom. Although eagerly anticipated, when I finally saw the new Atom in action, I wasn't terribly impressed. Compared to the previews of the introductory plotlines of Martian Manhunter and OMAC, I didn't see any hugely impactful conflict that Ryan Choi would be facing. Why should I care about the new atom? What was his title going to be about? What was it about this new Atom that would make him different from the old one? Brave New World established that the new Atom would be inexperienced. The new Atom would have greater control over his mass and size compared to the missing Ray Palmer. He would have a colourful (and I do mean this literally) cast of supporting characters willing to snark their way through his missions (like having a real-time Mystery Science Theatre chattering away in your ear). While interesting, this isn't exactly earth-shattering or not unanticipated for the new Atom. So, what was it that would make Ryan Choi part of the Brave New World alluded to be comics? Oh, yes. He's Asian. As if DC is milking his race card for all its worth, the only aspect of the All-New Atom that I can see that will make it a complete reinterpretation of an old character (as all the other Brave New World previews established for their characters) is that he's Asian. And, like Jin the Emcee, that will only fly for so long. As far as I'm concerned, while I applaud the entrance of a "non-stereotypical" Asian American character (caveat: he's a scientist, people), that, in and of itself, isn't enough for me to want to hype this comic. Newsarama has published some preview pages for the All-New Atom #1, and again, while establishing Ryan Choi as a sort of yellow-fied Peter Parker (of the Marvel Ultimates universe), there's little else that makes this a must-have issue. I also objected to Ryan Choi looking like he's fourteen -- but maybe that's the fault of the artist (John Byrne), whom I've never really liked. Of course, DC has done its homework. In the preview pages, one panel, and one panel alone, should make this a revolutionary comic character as far as the Asian American community is concerned. (Ah, as if there were any doubt that comics were written for young heterosexual boys.)


Blogger Gail Simone said...

'Splain, please. How is that two women thinking a guy is hot is for het young boys?

Atom's actually nude through quite a bit of Atom #1 for that matter.

Maybe I'm missing your point, but I'm trying to understand. What is exactly your beef with that panel?

As a side note, I have to say I completely disagree with a lot of what you said about Ryan's race. But I understand that it's early days with the character, and people haven't really gotten to fully meet him yet.

Best wishes,


6/30/2006 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Hi Gail, thanks for visiting the site and leaving the comments.

First of all, the two women thinking the guy is hot is very much fitting into a young heterosexual male fantasy. I can't really comment on the nude thing, because I haven't read that (although I'm totally questioning how that's going to happen). So it's not really a beef with that panel -- it's recognizing that, given the Asian male emasculation stereotypes prevalent in comics and film, that panel was going to appeal to the Asian American male community. In fact, that's quite possibly the first time in my history that an Asian male character in comics is presented as physically attractive to his peers.

That being said, my problem with Ryan Choi, as he currently stands, is that, unlike the rest of the characters in Brave New World, there's nothing really novel about this reinterpretation of the Atom, that will suck us into wanting to buy the title.

BNW was the opportunity to sell six new titles to us, and most of the stories that we see really set the stage for some shocking changes in these characters. We find out that Martian Manhunter will delve more deeply into his Martian heritage (for almost the first time), they kill/injure almost the entire Marvel family, and the OMAC storyline deviates strongly from the traditional superhero-based title.

What do we learn about the Atom? What about him makes him different from Ray Palmer? Not much -- he is still a scientist, and in fact he has taken up Palmer's old job. He also has the same kinds of powers.

Usually, when an old DC character is transracialized from White to another race, there is more to the new character than just his race. The new Blue Beetle is not just Mexican American, but he's much younger than Ted Kord and doesn't have any of the technological know-how. Cassandra Cain as the new Batgirl was more than just Barbara Gordon made-Asian -- she was immediately distinguished from Barb Gordon's kind of Batgirl because she had a completely different background (and skill set). Even Kate Kane as the new Batwoman is not just a lesbian redux of Batwoman, but will probably redefine Batwoman, moving away from the whole purse-thing.

Again, based only on what we know right now about Ryan Choi, we don't know how he is different from Ray Palmer... That doesn't mean I'm not waiting to see what is done with him, I'm just right now not sure what it is that is supposed to be appealing about Ryan Choi.

6/30/2006 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger Gail Simone said...

Huh. Interesting. I admit I find some of that a little weird. First, Ryan being nice to look at is at least as much a girl fantasy as a guy fantasy. Are all the boobylacious bad girls fantasy for primarily females by that logic? Honestly, for me, it's the girl I identify with there.

Anyway, I only know that fanservice is not what I intended. Is it a valid interpretation? I suppose so, but it still seems a reversal from what would normally be defined by that term.

As for the rest, it's always fine if something I write doesn't click, but I kinda resent the (sorry) assumption that a character is a gimmick just because he's not a caucasian straight male. I like characters to be every shade of humanity and sexuality, but it is a 1000 times safer to play it straight, as it were. An Asian character is still just a character to me.

He's not a gimmick. I love China more than pretty much anywhere else in the world (I'm going back for another visit to Hong Kong and a first visit to Thailand at the end of the year), but it's still only an aspect of the guy. I'm not interested in 'token' characters in the slightest and I, too, resent them when they are force-fed to me. So I do understand people being a bit cautious, but if you check my resume, I stick Asia in my comics constantly, for any number of reasons. Mainly that I love it and love the people I know from there, some of whom still live there. I just find it endlessly vibrant and fascinating. No tokenism involved.

As for Ryan being the same as Ray...honestly, I don't see it in the slightest. They really aren't similar at all. Even the powers are different, let alone experience, attitude, life history, age, ethnicity, skillset, speech pattern, on and on and on. I guess they have the same love of science, maybe. This was a short story with a lot of ground to cover, and if we failed to intrigue you, that's fine, but you've made some accusations that don't match my intentions at all, you know?

These things happen, it's not a big deal. The bottom line is that you didn't like it and my response to that is, I'm sorry to hear it.

There's a lot more I disagree with, but I'm at deadline and have to run (not to mention that this rant has gone on past its welcome point). I appreciate your point of view, and sorry it didn't work for you.

Very best wishes, and thanks for the interesting thoughts (hopefully you'll like something else I write sometime!),


7/01/2006 12:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Philly Jay said...

Give it time.Maybe he will get more interesting.But for now I have to agree, he does not stand out yet.I Disagee with with het male part though :)

7/01/2006 12:59:00 AM  
Blogger Gail Simone said...

Hey, by the way...did you happen to make it to the Toronto con?


7/01/2006 01:02:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

I figured I'd better write this up quickly, before Ragnell pops on with something smart, making me feel really stupid.

First off, nice work getting Gail's attention, but I'm gonna have to turn on you a little, Jenn. I love you Gail, from BoP to Secret Six, I love everything you write. You and Bendis started me on the whole "buying a book just because of the writer" method of buying comics (please don't hold the Bendis thing against me!) OK, enough fanboy gushing...

I feel what you're getting at, Jenn. You're looking for a positive, Asian character in comics. I don't want to say, "Give up", but I don't see how anyone can win under the current..."criteria" we'll say. I mean, the complaint right now seems to be that he's a token, and there's nothing distinctly "Asian-American" about him. But if they'd made him a math major, who takes piano lessons, then he'd be a stereotype. I kinda thought the balance we were looking for was the "Yeah, he HAPPENS to be Asian, but that's not the only thing he brings to the table." Kinda like, "Yeah, Kathy Kane HAPPENS to be a lesbian, but she's not The Lesbian Batwoman."(Hopefully!)

James and I had this discussion regarding Firestorm about a year ago. I felt an obligation to buy the book because Firestorm was black, and in some rare instance, I felt that I needed to support his development. That book was really hard to read, though! J dropped it when they showed Jason walking around in a chicken suit, 'cause he felt the minstrel show had gone too far. I recently returned to the book with a different outlook. When I started looking at him as "the young hero learning the ropes" rather than "that black guy who's got the powers that the white dude used to have", I found I enjoyed it a lot more. Now, keep in mind, a lot of the "minstrel" aspects that J saw had thankfully disappeared, but my changed outlook certainly helped things.

I think that's what Gail was going for (though not trying to put words in her mouth). And we all bring different perspectives to the table. I, for example, only know that Ray Palmer was white and clearly had a crazy-ass wife. My lack of Palmer knowledge enables me to take everything this new guy has to offer, without feeling like the continuity's been taken for granted. Just my two cents...

7/01/2006 02:33:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Actually, Will, my point seems to have been missed. Right now, he's *not* an overtly Asian American character, nor is he not *NOT* an overtly Asian American character (ha! double-negatives! it's obviously been a long night!). Heavens no, I don't want a piano-playin' stereotype.

My "beef" (if you can call it that) is that I really WANT to like Ryan Choi. I have no doubt that Gail has written a character with a unique "life history, let alone experience, attitude, life history, age, ethnicity, skillset, speech pattern, on and on and on."

I just don't see it yet.

From the approximately 15 pages total of Ryan Choi that I have been able to get my hands on, there's nothing particularly new or interesting that's grabbing my attention. There's nothing about him, OTHER than his race, that has yet been offered to the comic reading public. The preview in BNW was a bit of a disappointment (especially compared to, oh -- the DEATH OF MARY MARVEL!!!), and the few pages I saw on Newsarama are setting the stage for a "young kid getting used to his superpowers (that you've already seen)" storyline (hence my reference to the Ultimate Peter Parker).

Basically this is me saying - yes, Gail is a talented writer. She knows what she's doing. She'll probably give Ryan a fair treatment. But, at a point when a bunch of new titles are all vying for my attention, I feel a little worried that Ryan's going to get passed over. He's probably not a token affirmative action character, but there's little evidence, at the moment to prove otherwise. At the moment, I don't know what, besides the fact that DC has transracialized another historical character, makes this Atom unique.

Basically, I'm impatient. And broke (therefore trying to choose my new titles carefully). And based on the BNW teaser and the preview pages, I'm expressing frustration that there hasn't been a better opportunity to get excited about the new Atom.

As far as any implications that you might be racist, Gail, I can only say I wouldn't make such an accusation. Although the number of times you have visited China really doesn't matter too much to me (while I'm not saying you are one of them, there are many who visit Asia who are extremely racist towards Asian people), you HAVE done a good job in introducing characters of colour to the DC universe (or at least bringing them towards greater prominence). That aside, you are also a talented writer whose work I've enjoyed over the years, and I particularly enjoyed the Villains United/Secret Six stuff.

That being said, I think the disconnect is that you are coming from having developed a character largely from scratch, getting to know and "love" him longer than we have. For the months that you have gotten to nuance this character, I've had the same preview scan of the cover of All-New Atom #1 to stare at over and over and imagine who Ryan Choi could be. While I would expect nothing less than a non-tokenized character from you, again, I can only say that right now, I haven't yet had the chance to see the nuance because it hasn't yet been introduced to me. I can only react based on what's before me.

As far as the het young male thing -- I reacted "negatively" (as in, not really, but my brain never shuts off) to that one panel only because (again from those five pages) there are only two females shown, neither are in positions of prominent academia (i.e. they are students, not faculty) and both swoon over a man, one even saying that she would "change her major" to ogle the new piece of man-ass. I can identify with the sentiment (I was a silly young schoolgirl once too), but that's certainly something that's going to stroke the ego of a young heterosexual male moreso than a young heterosexual female. Nothin' wrong with that -- it's not new that comics cater to young men more so than young women (that is your primary consumer demographic, after all, and an industry in which the very physical appearance of female superheroes are used to sell comics), I just found it amusing because it was so in-line with what Asian American men are looking for in mainstream media. It was almost like you had read a lot of prominent Asian American identity politics sites and decided to give us what we've been asking for for years. In other words, it was a kudos. :) (In fact, I pulled the panel because it was the most memorable part of the preview for me, and made me smile, knowing how many Asian American men were feeling reaffirmed by that exact same page).

I appreciate your taking the time to debate, and again, I hope this post wasn't interpreted as an all-out attack on Ryan Choi. Like I said, I don't know the character, and for months I've anticipated his arrival. Now seeing him, it would be out of place for me to criticize him yet (if at all). And certainly, this post was never intended as a criticism of you as a writer, or to make any assumptions about your politics.

As far as the Toronto comicon, I was there several years ago, back in high school, but haven't been able to go since. I'm currently in Tucson, Arizona pursuing my doctoral degree, so Toronto is pretty much out of the question (re: broke). Out of curiousity, why do you ask?

7/01/2006 03:52:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

ps - i can't keep comic blogging, Will. This ain't a comics blog!

7/01/2006 03:53:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

I hear ya, boo. And just so we can kiss and make up, I'm gonna say "I agree with you." To be honest, and I never thought I'd say something like this, BNW was too much comic for me. I mean, it was packed with 6 characters I care next to nothing about. I mean, DC's already taking a gamble with 52, seeing as how it's cast is a bunch of perennial C/D-listers, but they've made those characters riveting.

80 pages for a dollar?! Sign me up! Wait, it starts with an evil Martian story and ends with a Captain Marvel story? Umm...I'm gonna need that dollar for bus fare. I love how "events" change our perspective on things. 8 years ago, if I tried to pitch you on a big summer book starring Martian Manhunter, OMAC, The Atom, Creeper & Capt. Marvel, I'd have more luck trying to sell you a bridge.

I like that New DC is trying to revitalize some properties, but this thing took me 2 days to read. Yes, I am dumber these days, but days?!! I had to read the MM twice just to realize he was talking to himself/carboard cut-out.

So, I guess I'm saying that I agree that I didn't get much from Ryan YET, but I'm not giving up yet.

P.S. As far as the broke thing, I'm surprised you even buy the books you're reviewing. When I did my VERY brief stint with Spoilt, they ALL used bit-torrent. I know a lot of professionals don't like that site since it basically spoils books, but it put a bad taste in my mouth when I found out they weren't even buying the books that they spoiled. But that's another discussion...

7/01/2006 04:12:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Fortunately, my comic habit remains a weekly maximum of $10. I buy 52 and MAYBE one other comic.

And, sad as it is, I try to buy comics that I know I should blog about. I bought BNW *because* the new Atom would be featured. I damn near bought Checkmate #3 on your recommendation that I'd see more of the Great Ten, which would provide much fodder for my the Great Great Ten Watch I've started (I didn't buy it when I realized all it was was an appearance by Immortal Man in Darkness on the last page).

It's so sad. Blogging has eaten my life AND my wallet. :(

As far as BNW -- I'm serious. Where's the outcry on the Mary Marvel death?!? I liked the MM story and the OMAC story, but reserve judgement on Captain Marvel. And while the Creeper story was cool, it's the freakin' Creeper... I always thought he was a lost Spiderman villain.

7/01/2006 04:17:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

I'd like to point out that there was neither impact nor a body. I'm still holding out the verdict on Mary Marvel.

It was a gripping scene, but I don't think DC has the stones to eliminate any of the Fawcett collection. It's like DC's link to the old school. It's just a matter of time before Mary's some crutch/wheelchair-based cheerleader character for the JSA, occasionally having coffee with Wendy and Marvin...

7/01/2006 04:27:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Short of a deus ex'd hero swooping in to save the day, there is NO way Mary Marvel survived that fall. Forget that wheelchair stuff. I know there's no body, and so in comics, that doesn't mean shit, but I'd have a hard time buying a survival on her part. Capt. Marvel Jr. maybe, but Mary should be a pancake.

Shoot, we'll have to buy the new Captain Marvel to find out, won't we?

7/01/2006 04:33:00 AM  
Blogger William said...

I hate DC so much right now! But I love it. It's like dating that badass when you know he's bad for you.

I made this foolish vow to buy every 1st issue of One Year Later. So, that meant all the ongoings and the minis. And I found myself disappointed by the "star" books, like Superman, but engrossed in lower stuff like Hawkwoman and GL (Ragnell's gonna kill me for that one). And I can't drop them because DC has done such a good job making us care about these characters.

I NEVER thought I'd buy a Captain Mavel book, but I can just hear Didio cackling, "Haha, gotcha bitch!"

7/01/2006 04:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gail Simone said...

As I said, there's no real defense to a reader saying, "I didn't like this," so no worries. I understand your objections (I believe) and I don't think you were calling me a racist. And I agree, if writing about places in Asia that I've actually been to was all that I was trying to bring to the table, that doesn't mean particularly much. I've seen plenty of tourists in Asia that made me want to hide under a bus.

On the other hand, it's early days, and the Atom seems to be getting one of the best responses in the BNW book, so who knows. Maybe you'll be proven correct and maybe you won't...I can only do my best, and I don't show cards until I feel they're supposed to be shown.

But as a final note, one of the fun things about Toronto was that per capita, it had the largest number of female Asian readers in my line by far, and I just thought it would be cool if we'd already met since we were having this discussion. I usually have a much larger female contingent than my male peers by ratio, and a good sized Asian representation, but this was very noticeably larger. I dug it. The myth that the readership is all straight white guys is probably the meanest and dumbest we have going, and it just won't die despite the evidence.

And I LOVED Toronto. Some of the nicest people at any con I've been to, is all.

Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, I find them intelligent and very, very interesting and I'll be checkin' out your blog regularly.

Best wishes,


7/01/2006 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jenn, have you seen the Atom #1 cover? Ryan looks like a Yellow Peril stereotype on it. If Gail Simone is still dropping by, I hope she realizes that there are some of us out here who think Ariel Olivetti's covers are inept at best and downright racist at worst at portraying Asians. John Byrne's style may not be to everyone's taste (and yeah, I thought he made Ryan look 14 too), but at least he can draw Asian features that don't make this Asian cringe.

7/03/2006 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Gail, thank you for the response, and I suppose it will be a "wait and see" situation. I'm glad to hear that the Atom is getting a good response in the BNW book; I'd rather be wrong than right on this, for the sake of AA representation in comics.

As far as the demographics of comic readership, although I've never seen a study of readers, my anecdotal evidence and treatment in the comic book shops (and in online comic fan communities) usually suggests that I (as a female reader) am the oddity.

Anonymous, I actually agree as far as the comic art of Atom #1, although my first reaction was that the model of Ryan Choi on that cover was definitively and recognizably Cary Tagawa -- although Cary's practically a walking Yellow Peril stereotype, himself. Hell, I think he singlehandedly reinvented the genre for everyone born in the 80's.

Still, I prefer the comic art over John Byrne's art only because it makes Ryan look older. Being older than my teens, I can relate more to a character who looks like he's in his mid-twenties than a character who looks like someone I might babysit.

7/04/2006 01:41:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

PS - Cary, if you're readin' this, you know I'm just playin'... *wink*

7/04/2006 01:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, you know, it could be said that Cary Tagawa was picked for those roles because he does resemble the stereotype.

But comparing the cover with pictures of Tagawa, the artist has taken liberties to give "Cary's" eyes that slant that he doesn't have. That, combined with the overexaggerated epicanthal folds and the bizarre three-pointed widow's peak equals stereotype to me. Really, all he needs are the buck teeth.

Besides, you have to wonder what's the wisdom in using a Japanese-American as the model for a Korean-American character, except that I guess they all look alike to Olivetti. What, he couldn't find pictures of Daniel Dae Kim online?

Anyway, Tagawa's too old. The Atom on that cover doesn't look like a twenty-something grad student.

7/04/2006 05:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, my point is, I'd have been willing to pick up the Atom book because I think Simone's a smart and talented writer, and although I'm not a Byrne fan I could put up with his art.

But not as long as Ariel Olivetti's doing the covers.

Gail, are you taking note?

7/04/2006 05:24:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

Anon, I've never seen a comic artist produce an image of a non-White character that wasn't stereotypical to some degree. I'm not saying it's cool to stereotype minority characters, but I don't believe that comic artists are going to provide nuance and humanity to minority representations until they are more used to drawing them.

Hell, every Black male superhero I can think of in comics looks like Michael Clarke Duncan these days, especially John Henry Irons. (Ultimate Nick Fury's Sam Jackson impersonation duly noted.) I recognize the idealized physicality inherent in the comic medium, but the artists overuse the excessively muscled bald Black man look these days.

They quite simply don't know any better.

Most of the Asian women in comics look like Lucy Liu or a half-dressed Bai Ling. The Latina SCU chief in Superman's recent comics, Lupe something or other, was an obvious J. Lo impression, and let's not even discuss Renee Montoya, who's complexion darkened once she started hitting the bottle full-time. Message!

DC's earnest multiculturalism presents a commendable and smart philosophy that promotes new and old non-White characters with interesting stories and backgrounds to attract the traditional comics reader and everyone else as well. I want to see more of that, not less. Hell, as long as the writing's decent much of this obvious stereotyping can't exist, imo. Take Firestorm - like Will said earlier, I dropped that comic around issue six when they put Jason Rusch in a chicken suit like Mantan Moreland. That was racist comic art. Minstrel shit. Uncool. But it wasn't cover art - it existed because the writer put it there, in the story. If the writer was more savvy, or more sane, I would have stuck with that comic. Writers who respect minority characters do not put Black superheroes in chicken suits.

However, and I'm sure you already know this, comics are and will always be racist! Some of this involves the racial minority visual identification question - will the average comics reader recognize X-minority character as X-minority if the artist does not rely on visual stereotypes to convey the necessary racial information? Again, this is not an excuse; Luke Cage should never look like the newest member of G-Unit. Honestly, it's all indefensible, and driven by a predominantly White fanbase that quite frankly enjoys racial stereotyping in their popular culture, including their comics.

Anonymous, maybe you should email DC with your concern with Ariel Olivetti's cover art; I don't know how much influence Ms. Simone would have on that. I guess some part of me expects racism from comics. Hell, even with all their good intentions, can we expect the company responsible for Mother of Champions to depict Ryan Choi without Yellow Peril art?

7/04/2006 07:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I do expect that, oddly enough. As bad as Mother of Champions is, it's a more subtle form of racist depiction, and I'm sure Grant Morrison could argue that it's intended to satirize China's family planning policies. I grew up reading comics with characters like the Mandarin and Yellow Claw, and I think Olivetti's cover is worse. Because it's meant to be "realistic", and it's the friggin' hero of the book.

I'm fully aware of the state of comics re race, and I know what comics fandom is like. My default state is cynical, so it's not as if I was expecting, you know, social justice in my funnybooks, or other entertainment for that matter. I'm just bringing it up because, well, I thought that's what this blog was for. I hadn't intended to debate my position here, but what the hell. :D

I do think the portrayal of the Atom on the cover is comparable to your Firestorm example, however. It's not just a matter of a lazy artist using an actor as a model--they all do that these days. It's the artist's choice of model (And yeah, using Cary Tagawa isn't terribly appropriate for any number of reasons, but the common-sense one is that this Ryan Choi character seems to be a youngish, fresh-faced, supposedly hot student type. It's like using Charles Bronson as the model for Peter Parker), and then the subsequent manipulation of the actor's features to play up the stereotype. It's as if someone took Michael Clark Duncan as the model for Luke Cage and then decided that he didn't look enough like Sambo, and then went on to "correct" the actor's features to bring them more in line to what he should look like racially. I consider that inexcusable in this day and age.

It goes beyond what I consider ordinary bad comics art. The fact is, most comics artists can't draw more than one or two kinds of faces anyway (like Byrne), so for this to stand out takes extra initiative on the artist's part, I think (ha,ha).

And of course Gail Simone's not responsible. I think Gail is something of an enlightened writer. I think she'd take pains to avoid stereotypes, which is not something most comics writers would devote the energy to. But that's what makes it worse to me. Even if the book is great, I'm not going to buy it if it's wrapped in shit. I refuse to spend money on a book with a cover I consider inexcusably offensive.

I don't necessarily think DC's multicultural intiative is all that altruistic, either. As other comics commenters have pointed out, why would you need to go to the New York Times whenever you're coming out with a new lesbian or ethnic character? Can you imagine how stupid that would look were it any other medium? What if CSI put out a press release saying "Look, we have a black character in our show! Aren't we great?"

I'm not going to write to DC. Would you guys write to them about Egg Fu or Mother of Champions? The public forum is here, on the internet. I'd rather have Gail Simone notice, and then she can go talk to the editor who thought it was a good idea. In the meantime, I'm gonna talk with my wallet.

7/06/2006 02:01:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

"I don't necessarily think DC's multicultural intiative is all that altruistic, either. As other comics commenters have pointed out, why would you need to go to the New York Times whenever you're coming out with a new lesbian or ethnic character? Can you imagine how stupid that would look were it any other medium? What if CSI put out a press release saying "Look, we have a black character in our show! Aren't we great?""

Amen. It's absolutely not altruistic. It's a giant White liberal pat on the back.

7/06/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger William said...

So, can we talk about The Atom #1 yet? Where's your post, Jenn? Anyways, I really enjoyed it. One thing that I'm surprised Gail didn't point out was the fact that Ryan is Asian, but NOT Asian-American. He'd been labeled as such in the media, but the opening of the issue clarified that.

Also, I had no idea who Cary Tagawa was, and didn't research him, but the minute I saw the cover, I thought, "Oh, THAT guy!"

All in all, it's got me hungry for more. And oddly enough, it made me want to know more about Ray Palmer. I feel that, out of all of the JLA-caliber heroes, Ray Palmer's Atom is on the D-list with orange shirt Aquaman and Connor Hawke's GA II. He rarely had a chance to shine. It would be a shame if this series turned out to merely be a vehicle for his return because I'm really looking forward to learning more about Ryan. All in all, I'll be back for #2. You?

7/07/2006 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

no, you can't. at least not here. i was just sitting down to write a new post.

... ass.

7/07/2006 02:15:00 AM  

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